Access to finance remains a significant challenge for many energy storage projects: V G Anil, ARENQ

Access to finance remains a significant challenge for many energy storage projects: V G Anil, ARENQ V G Anil, CEO, ARENQ

Pune-based ARENQ, a manufacturer and distributor of storage batteries for all industries, is a subsidiary of Sunlit Power. The CEO of ARENQ, V G Anil, speaks to Saur Energy about the battery storage industry in India and the ambitions of the firm. 





What are some alternatives to li-ion batteries that the industry can bet on? How would you compare solid state versus iron-air batteries against li-ion?

While there is ongoing research to develop alternative chemistries that could potentially replace lithium-ion batteries, there are no proven options currently. One such alternative chemistry that has been researched is iron-air batteries. However, these batteries are still not widely used due to their limitations. They are still in the experimental stage and have not been commercially deployed on a large scale.

Another option that has been explored is solid-state batteries, which use a solid electrolyte instead of a liquid one, resulting in potentially safer and more efficient battery performance. However, these batteries have their own limitations, including a slower charging rate due to high internal resistance. Additionally, the availability of solid-state electrolytes is currently limited, and mass production of solid-state batteries remains a concern. Since the research is going on to find perfect alternatives, lithium-ion batteries continue to be the most widely used due to their proven performance and reliability.


How do you see the energy storage industry evolving? What are the challenges in this area?

Certainly, the energy storage industry is experiencing a surge in India, and it presents a significant opportunity for growth and development. Despite the immense potential of the energy storage industry, a lack of funding is hampering its growth. Access to finance remains a significant challenge for many energy storage projects, particularly those in the early stages of development. Similarly, there is a need to raise awareness about the benefits of energy storage solutions among stakeholders, including policymakers, investors, and end-users. The government, private sector, and other stakeholders must work collaboratively to address these challenges and create an enabling environment for the growth of the energy storage industry.


What are ARENQ’s solar batteries priced at and how long do they last? How do they compare to market standard?

Our solar batteries price range is Rs 15 per watt with five years’ replacement warranty and 2500 life cycles. Also, the battery-life ranges between 8 to 10 years. We provide our customers with high-quality solar batteries. To achieve this, we carefully select top-quality raw materials that meet our rigorous standards. By doing so, we can ensure that our solar batteries are durable, reliable, and long-lasting. We understand that investing in solar technology is a big decision, and we want our customers to feel confident and secure in their purchases. That’s why we take every measure possible to ensure that our solar batteries are of the highest quality and that they will perform optimally for years to come.


Please tell us about your significant collaborations.

Our organization has established several important collaborations in the electric vehicle industry. Firstly, we are associated with LucasTVS to distribute their products and jointly improve the performance of EVs through trials. We have also teamed up with Kerala Automobile Limited (KAL) to provide their motors and distribute their automobiles throughout India.

At the same time, we have joined hands with RDL in Mangalore to focus on R&D in IoT technology for batteries. Also, we are affiliated with one of the eCommerce companies to provide delivery cars. We are also in discussions with a Canadian firm regarding the transfer of technology to create better EV batteries and EVs. We firmly believe that these alliances will enable us to provide high-quality products and services that will meet the needs of our customers and contribute to a cleaner and greener future.


What are the new products in energy storage that ARENQ is coming up with ?

 Domestic inverters with built-in batteries and lighting systems for fishermen with navigation are a great solution for those who need to spend long hours on their boats, especially during night fishing trips. They provide a reliable and uninterrupted power supply to run navigation equipment, lights, and other essential electrical devices. Since they come with a built-in battery backup, the power remains available even during unexpected power outages. With this system in place, fishermen can enjoy a hassle-free fishing experience without worrying about running out of power.


How do you view automation in the battery assembly line?

Automation has gradually become an essential element for producing high-quality products. It helps achieve consistent quality and meet delivery deadlines. Also, automating processes also eliminates the risk of human error, which can result in defective products or delayed shipments.


What are some common errors made during the battery manufacturing process and how can they be avoided?

 One of the major challenges is getting low-quality raw materials from local traders instead of OEMs. The government could take a few measures to ensure only new materials are imported. Firstly, they could tighten import regulations and set up a monitoring system to meet the required quality standards. By taking these measures, the government can help ensure that businesses are using high-quality materials, which can improve the quality of their products and protect consumers.


What role can RTC power play in boosting energy storage market?

Installing MW-scale energy storage can help DISCOMs save a significant amount of money by using stored energy during peak hours when the cost of electricity is higher. It can also improve the profitability of the company if the energy storage system is charged using solar energy.

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